Prime Minister Freundel Stuart told the Christian church today, it cannot judge homosexuality until it can determine “with pontifical certainty” if the lifestyle was based on perversion or on a person’s physiological makeup.
“And the argument becomes even more troublesome, because it is not within the competence of any of us in this room, to resolve the basic issue related to homosexual behaviour,” the Prime Minister Stuart said while addressing the opening of the Anglican Church Province of the West Indies Provincial Congress 2013, at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus on the theme “Challenges Facing Caribbean Families — the Church’s Response”.
“We do not know, whether it is based on nature, or whether it is based on nurture. And until we can speak with pontifical certainty … whether homosexual behaviour derived from nature or from nuture, it does not lie within our competence to sit in seats of judgement and to condemn those who pursue that practice,” he argued.
The Government leader advised that the church would therefore have to wrestle with this issue and solve it like Jesus would have done.
“You are going to have to ask a question: What would Christ have said, what would Christ have done? And in a case, not too, too dissimilar, His response was, ‘he that is without sin, cast the first stone’,” added the political leader of the ruling Democratic Labour Party to some shouts of “Amen!”.
Stuart said though, he got the feeling that when this subject is debated, it is done so in the context of the family to be formed by “these consenting same sex partners”. “And we lose sight of the fact that the people we are talking about, are themselves already members of families. They are the sons and daughters of people like us and people of whom we approve. And we can only guess at the challenge, the anguish and the sense of angony, that many of our families go through, when one of their members, male or female, declares, or manifests that kind of orientation,” added the Prime Minister.
Stuart reasoned that a matter such as this seemed “all right when it doesn’t touch us”. He recalled growing up in a village where people took homosexuals for granted and laughed at them, but that he lived to see some of those who mocked become affected by a relative who declared or manifested homosexuality. “So we have to approach all of this, in a very Christian way. It is not easy, but I have a sneaking suspicion, that the Christian church, when all is said and done, is not going to want to find itself on an end opposite to the recognition of human rights,” he added.
Stuart quickly asserted that he was not suggesting the church compromise the principles on which it was built.
“Those principles,” Stuart continued, “are really not up for sale or negotiation. But, as I said, until we can resolve the issue of nature and nurture, until we can clearly put ourselves in a position where we can say people who pursue that orientation, do it out of perverseness, rather than out of the fact that their own physiological make up, makes it very difficult for them to go in any other direction — until we can resolve that, we have a challenge on our hands.”
Prime Minister Stuart however told the church it can win the argument against homosexuality and same sex unions on moral and ethical grounds, but not on a human rights basis. (EJ)